Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

Its name alone suggests an explosive whizzbang of cotton candy pop — Pinkshinyultrablast makes shoegaze that yanks tufts of sound every which way in some kind of cinematically sped-up slow-mo. It's irrepressibly cool music — last year's Grandfeathered was a personal favorite, a sonic treasure hunt on every listen.

The Search For America's Moral Core

Aug 17, 2017

America is doing some heavy soul-searching after the violence in Charlottesville and President Trump’s responses to it.

America has survived far worse, but today millions of Americans are saying, “This is not who we are.”

Are we sure about that?

GUESTS

Long before Transparent, for which she's now Emmy-nominated for her work as Shelly Pfefferman, Judith Light was a soap star when soaps were a much bigger deal than they are now. Playing Karen Wolek on One Life To Live, she won two Daytime Emmys and became known for a devastating performance in a courtroom scene in which Karen was forced to acknowledge publicly that although she was married to a doctor, she was secretly also a sex worker.

Those of us who fell in love with her debut album, Sprained Ankle, have been hungering for more of Julien Baker's sparse, confessional songs — brutally honest and cripplingly insecure, self-deprecating but laced with just enough hope to keep you hanging on — since the album's 2015 release (only briefly sated by the release of "Funeral Pyre," a one-off single, in January).

Jason Heller is a Hugo Award-winning editor and author of the forthcoming book Strange Stars (Melville House). Twitter: @jason_m_heller

I spent two years dreaming of sun-warmed tomatoes, towering sunflowers and home-grown salad greens before a spot opened in my community garden in Washington, D.C.

When I first met plot 56 in September of 2015, it was a mound of grasses, vines, and cilantro gone to seed.

I had no experience with a vegetable garden of my own, but I knew I was just the person to tame this 4-by-8 foot raised bed. I grew up watching my dad grow veggies. I worked on a flower farm in high school. And I trained as a plant biologist. So I know something about encouraging a seed to grow.

Where will you live after the apocalypse? That question becomes more relevant once you realize the apocalypse is now, and ongoing, with society unmaking itself in convulsions and recovering in spurts. And the place where it's leaving Americans is what Erika M. Andersen calls the Outer Ring. It's that circular band of highways and avenues surrounding a city, where vape shops share strip-mall space with Halal butchers and Triple XXX Pleasure Zones, and immigrants stand at the bus stop next to Trump voters while their children get stoned together in the Kwik Mart parking lot.

This may seem like an odd thing to say of a band fronted by one of the more successful songwriters in Nashville, but there's actually something that contributes even more to the distinctive identity of Cadillac Three albums than the songs themselves, and that's feel.

For artists who make breakup records, a big part of the appeal is having their uninterrupted, unqualified say. It can be a cathartic experience to call out former partners for heartlessness and narcissism, to stake your claims to the high ground and come out looking good. There's a seductiveness to that sort of indignation. Just ask Justin Bieber. But the elements of emotional truth in such approaches are often enmeshed with unreliable narration.

If one glass of wine takes the edge off, why not drink a few more?

This thinking may help explain the findings of a new study that points to an increase in drinking among adults in the U.S., especially women.

A SpaceX craft docked at the International Space Station on Wednesday carrying more than 6,400 pounds of lab equipment and supplies for crew members living there.

But perhaps the most eagerly awaited cargo on the resupply mission may also be its most perishable: ice cream.

We all remember astronaut ice cream, those little dehydrated bricks of neopolitan.

Most of us know Chuck Berry as a pioneer, if not the pioneer, who defined rock 'n' roll. My guest today knew him as dad.

Charles Berry Jr. is here to share memories of growing up watching the elder Berry on TV, joining him on tour in his later years and contributing to what would be his final record, an album called Chuck that was released in June.

Spindle India, Inc.

Are you craving samosas? Do you need a place to wear a sari from your extensive collection? Or have you never eaten a samosa, and you don’t know what a sari is?

Whatever category you may fall in, the organizers of IndiaFest hope you come out to its fifth annual event at Humboldt Park in Bay View on Saturday, August 19, to celebrate, learn about, and experience Indian culture. The day-long festival combines food, music, and other performances.

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